Why, when no honest man will deny in private that every ultimate problem is wrapped in the profoundest mystery, do honest men proclaim in pulpits that unhesitating certainty is the duty of the most foolish and ignorant? Is it not a spectacle to make the angels laugh? We are a company of ignorant beings, feeling our way through mists and darkness, learning only by incessantly repeated blunders, obtaining a glimmering of truth by falling into every conceivable error, dimly discerning light enough for our daily needs, but hopelessly differing whenever we attempt to describe the ultimate origin or end of our paths; and yet, when one of us ventures to declare that we don't know the map of the universe as well as the map of our infintesimal parish, he is hooted, reviled, and perhaps told that he will be damned to all eternity for his faithlessness.more Leslie Stephen quotes
If a juror feels that the statute involved in any criminal offence is unfair, or that it infringes upon the defendant's natural god-given unalienable or constitutional rights, then it is his duty to affirm that the offending statute is really no law at all and that the violation of it is no crime at all, for no one is bound to obey an unjust law.more Harlan F. Stone quotes
I am speaking now of the highest duty we owe our friends, the noblest, the most sacred -- that of keeping their own nobleness, goodness, pure and incorrupt.more Harriet Beecher Stowe quotes
Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about his religion.
Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.
When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.more Tecumseh quotes
I heartily accept the motto, that government is best which governs least ... Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, that government is best which governs not at all; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.more Henry David Thoreau quotes
To speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it. After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule, is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest. But a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it. Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience? -- in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience. Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice.more Henry David Thoreau quotes
Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk
this and be a man. To decide against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let man
label you as they may. If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right,
you have done your duty by yourself and by your country- hold up your head! You have nothing to be ashamed of.more Mark Twain quotes
My kind of loyalty was to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.more Mark Twain quotes
Duties are not performed for duty's sake, but because their neglect would make the man uncomfortable. A man performs but one duty -- the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.more Mark Twain quotes
The first duty of government is to protect the citizen from assault. Unless it does this, all the civil rights and civil liberties in the world aren't worth a dime.more Richard A. Viguerie quotes
That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity towards each other. more Virginia Declaration of Rights quotes
I consider it my duty to tell you of the extremely dangerous threats that lie ahead. I know for certain that we are now in a period of the greatest strategic deception, perhaps in all history ...The Cold War is NOT over, only in the state of remission ...The Soviet Union is not truly 'on the verge of collapse'. Western defense, on the other hand, is.more General Sir Walter Walker quotes
A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite.more George Washington quotes
When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, 'just men who will rule in the fear of God.' The preservation of [our] government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty; if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded. If [our] government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Laws.more Noah Webster quotes
The right of the jury to decide questions of law was widely recognized in the colonies. In 1771, John Adams stated
unequivocally that a juror should ignore a judge’s instruction on the law if it violates fundamental principles: “It is not only ... [the juror’s] right, but his duty, in that case, to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the
direction of the court.” There is much evidence of the general acceptance of this principle in the period immediately after the Constitution was
adopted.more Yale Law Journal quotes
Since they have dared, I too shall dare. I shall tell the truth because I pledged myself to tell it if justice regularly empowered did not do so fully, unmitigated. My duty is to speak; I have no wish to be an accomplice.more Emile Zola quotes